Want A CRM? Here’s the Test to See If You Have a Process.
There are many small businesses that would love to utilize a CRM to lighten the workload and automate repetitive tasks. And for some small businesses, a customized CRM can do just that! However, if you’re still trying to determine if a CRM will work for your business, we’ve got a test you can use to evaluate your CRM readiness. Pass this test with flying colors and you’ll get the added benefit of your custom CRM becoming even more affordable!
Grabbing the Reins and Moving Forward
So, you want an affordable CRM for a small business to make your operations run more smoothly and with less effort? That, our friend, is the cart. The processes you perform on a daily basis are the horse. Trying to move forward without the appropriate processes in place isn’t like putting the cart before the horse; it’s like not even having a horse and expecting the cart to move all on its own (and that sort of thing only happens in fantasy books and films about students who attend a school for magical folk).
You may have a written process for how you do your work. You may even stringently adhere to it. But if other people within your organization are doing the same jobs, but in their own way, then you do not have an adequate process. In order for a process to be effective, it needs to have 2 components:
- It needs to be documented and easily understood.
- It must actually be followed by everyone performing that process.
Without a proper process, information gets lost, and it’s difficult to maintain any decent degree of quality assurance. But having a written process is not enough, especially if not everyone abides by it. If one person is trying to use a horse to pull the cart and another is using a llama, you don’t end up with a smooth ride and your business starts to feel like a zoo!
Testing to See if You Have a Workhorse?
Okay, so perhaps we got a little heavy-handed on the metaphors there. Let’s bring this back to how these horses and carts relate to building a successful CRM system with a real return on your investment. For your business to move forward effectively, it can best do so by having a consistent and reliable process (your workhorse).
How can you test the quality of your process? Simple!
Start by picking one small segment of your business. Maybe that is how orders come into your business. Ask one person from your business what their process is around receiving and processing those orders. Now ask a second person from your business, who also participates in order processing, how they do their job. If both people follow an identical process when it comes to inputting the order, communicating with the customer, and passing along the order to the same next place, CONGRATULATIONS! You have now identified a process that can be automated with a CRM.
Let’s be realistic, though. Quite often, when businesses are overwhelmed with work (and want an affordable CRM to help them streamline), employees are just doing whatever they need to in order to get the job done. Suppose you ask two employees how they go about achieving this task and they give you totally different answers. In that case, there is no effective process in place and a CRM will not yet be able to make your life easier. The good news is that knowing where you have problems is key for you to rein in this office horseplay!
Getting Your Horse Ready to Pull a Cart
It’s ok if you don’t have a horse that’s able to pull your cart. Seabiscuit didn’t become a champion without a lot of practice and training. And with a bit of guidance, you can implement a procedure and prepare your organization to move forward with a custom CRM.
If you don’t have a solid process in place, it is best to break it into small pieces and come up with the process one step at a time. These processes should be documented and can even be turned into a blueprint, flow chart, slide deck, or handbook for a visual representation of what needs to happen step by step.
Once you have developed a written process, you’ll need to test it out. Have someone who does not typically perform those specific duties attempt to do so by using the reference materials you have compiled. Oftentimes, when creating a process, simple steps can be easily missed or overlooked due to the fact that some procedures can become almost second nature or automatic for those who regularly perform those duties. Having an “outsider” review the steps offers a fresh perspective. They may even have some suggestions for how to make the process easier or more efficient and get your horse ready to work.
But Enough Horsing Around
If your small business has reached the point that it needs a CRM to lighten your workload, offer more opportunities for sales, or just keep your team on task, we want to help you achieve that. We’re here to help with all stages of the process, including creating a process flow diagram to pinpoint exactly how your business works. This is the best way to get a custom CRM system that meets the exact needs of your small business, rather than forcing your small business to try and meet the capabilities of the CRM.